PULLMAN, Wash. (Nov. 6) – Alaska Anchorage sophomore Tara Thompson scored a game-high 26 points Sunday but it was not enough to prevent a Washington State comeback as the Cougars earned an 81-73 women’s basketball exhibition victory at Beasley Coliseum.

The Seawolves – ranked No. 10 in the NCAA Div. II preseason top-25 poll and coming off a National Title Game appearance last spring – also got 13 points from senior forward Autummn Williams in their annual road warmup against a high-major Div. I team.

The Cougars, who went 14-16 last year, were led by 15 points from starting forward Borislava Hristova to help erase deficits of 28-19 after one quarter and 44-40 at halftime. The Pac-12 Conference club got a big lift from its bench, with guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou providing 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, eight assists and four steals.

One of five returning players from last year’s 38-3 team, Thompson more than doubled her official career high of 12 points, sinking 8 of 12 three-pointers and making both of her free throws. Williams, a transfer from Div. I Little Rock, did most of her damage in the first half, making 2 of 5 treys and totaling three assists.

“We didn’t capitalize on our good shooting at the beginning because our press wasn’t causing the turnovers we usually get,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy. “We missed a few easy shots, but the execution was there – we’ve just got to finish those plays. We lost, of course, but this was nothing but positive, showing this much cohesiveness with seven new players. And Tara put on just an amazing shooting display against a Pac-12 team on its home court.”

UAA also got a solid debut from North Idaho College transfer Shelby Cloninger, who had 10 points (5-6 FT), nine rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes off the bench. Cloninger also brings D-I experience, having played her freshman season at Utah State.

The Seawolves will start the regular season next week with a pair of NCAA Div. II West Region opponents, hosting Cal State Los Angeles on Friday (7 p.m.) and Academy of Art on Saturday (5 p.m.) at the Alaska Airlines Center. Both games will be held in the AAC’s auxiliary gymnasium, so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance and arrive early to guarantee seating. Call 907-786-1562 to order tickets or surf to GoSeawolves.com for more information.